I am glad to have joined this group. I hope to hear from everyone. I’m originally from Ethiopia. But in Richmond Virginia now. I grew up as an Orthodox Christian but then became an atheist in college. In graduate school, I started asking the hard questions of life and was able to come back. Now my desire is to continue and spread the good news to all creatures of the world as Christ commanded us. That’s the least I can do for him saving my life. In return, I hope many find life as well. Love to hear from you. Let God help all of us get to know him deeper and deeper every day.
Hello Daniel, welcome my friend to connect. Thank you Father for connecting all the dots and dashes in ones life to make your beautiful picture of amazing grace and mercy. It will be good to hear your insight and seeing from your perspective. So glad you are here.
Welcome to Connect! Thank you for sharing part of your story with us - what a testimony to the faithfulness of God! I look forward to how you will contribute to our community. I hope it can be a place for encouragement and meaningful conversations!
Welcome aboard @Danageze. Happy Easter and thank you for joining our ranks here at connect. Thank you for your transparency and honesty regarding your history. I would love to read more of your full testimony. There is a members testimony category you may have seen while surfing a little bit here. Check it out: About the Member Testimonies category. I look forward to reading your posts. Enjoy this wonderful day and God-bless your journey.
Hey Dan, just read this part of your testimony… praise the Lord for bringing you unto Himself! I have an amazingly intelligent 3rd cousin who’s from Scotland, used to claim atheism, now is agnostic after having some conversations with us… we’re still praying for his salvation… so I’m curious as to what kind of atheist you were (I.e. bitter, scientific, name only…) and what was it that made you come back to Christianity?
Hey @CharityLinzey, glad to hear from you. I have been MIA with work and also taking the bible elective. I should be as active soon enough. I hope you are well.
To answer your question, I was all kinds of atheist lol, bitter, scientific, mad, angry and all. When you live in that frame of mind (atheistic), for time being, you’ll have your own thoughts that you use to make sense of the world but with time, life becomes empty. Afterall, you have to give meaning to everything you do. Some of my bitterness or decision to become an athiest also stemmed from not being able to explain the suffering of the world. I was a doctor trying to help people but the unfairness of the world just killed me. If I, a human being can have such compassion, where is the God that was supposed to be compassionate was my cry. I had forgotten I was the very reason for all the suffering, with my brothers and sisters included. Our fallen nature, the fact that we cant earn our way to heaven and the need for a savior.
The second thing I was afraid of was that man in the name of religion can try to control me. I needed to know what I believed and actually needed to know that I can trust the so called God. I asked so many questions to be able to discern what is God’s and what is mans. From science perspective, academia, “facts.” The best way to approach such individual is to allow them to ask as many questions as they like and remind them that truth exists if they look for it. Afterall as a scientist, that’s their “skill” to use the scientific method to discern and single out variables and study them. Give them time. Allow them to look at the character of God, whom they are to trust in. Let them meet him. But be right there to be of help in anyway you can. It took me 3-4 years of just slow asking and coming to Christ.
It is also very important to help them see the love of God. In the atheistic world view, with “survival of the fittest” being the motto, life’s is ruled by fear = survival. The ultimate fear is suffering and death, where everything ends from science perspective. But God Is with us through our suffering and never promises that we wont suffer. Plus He frees us from death. We live eternally, when we dont even deserve it. That is Love.
Another thing that will help is just sharing your honest beliefs about God. It is not all intellect. The intellect may block us but at some point after we have our intellectual questions answered, we have to start using our heart and allowing God to change us. Dont push them but be there and love your God in front of them. Speak life, pray, be the person of faith around them. They may not comment but they will observe and one day will reach there too. Encourage them to RZIM connect too. We are here to answer any questions.
I know I love the testimonies found on the One is for Israel youtube channel. Jews from different walks of lives coming to Christ.
Thank you so much @Danageze for your response, it does help! There were several great points you brought out that I’m taking note of.
…life becomes empty. Afterall, you have to give meaning to everything you do.
So true! Addressing the topic of meaning. I have another friend who is in the struggle of that very issue although she’s blinded to the fact that that’s not how life is intended to be. We were made with intrinsic worth, therefore, our meaning doesn’t come from our performances — Praise God!
If I, a human being can have such compassion, where is the God that was supposed to be compassionate was my cry. I had forgotten I was the very reason for all the suffering, with my brothers and sisters included. Our fallen nature, the fact that we cant earn our way to heaven and the need for a savior.
Wow. I think one of the biggest things my cousin grapples with is why suffering? Definitely a lot that can be said on that topic.
The second thing I was afraid of was that man in the name of religion can try to control me. I needed to know what I believed and actually needed to know that I can trust the so called God.
Hmm. I’d never thought of that before! I appreciate you bringing this out. I believe that helps give a little more understanding as to where people are coming from… which also makes sense of why they don’t like a God who would allow suffering since it’s not in their control, it could seem to them that the One who would have control doesn’t even care.
Thanks for the encouragement!! He’d be a dynamic Christian if (when ) he comes to Christ! Appreciate the prayers!
Also, loved the testimony you attached! That’s one of my favorite things — to hear of how God brings people unto Himself! It gives me hope for the many others we get to witness to!
If you get a chance, would love to hear some of your highlights on the Bible elective! I’m looking forward to taking core module next month. Looking forward to when you have the opportunity to jump back into the connect activity, but until then blessings in your studies and work!